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Middle-Eastern Nutty Millet Pilaf

gluten free
wheat free
kid friendly
quick meals, fast feeds
low fat low sugar, diabetic friendly
cheap as chickpeas
2 spoon difficulty rating

30-40 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Middle-Eastern Nutty Millet Pilaf

A fresh, light alternative to traditional risotto. 

This simple tasty dish is a nice way to use millet, a much underrated, nutritious and gluten-free wholegrain. Find it in Ocado or a health food shop. Both millet and peas provide useful sources of protein and iron. 

Top tips

  • Soak the millet overnight or for a few hours if possible. This helps it fluff up nicely as well as making it cook more quickly. 
  • Nut-free? Omit the nuts if you're allergic - replace with toasted seeds, eg sunflower or pumpkin if these are safe for you. 

Ingredients: 

  • 225g/8oz millet, preferably soaked overnight or for a few hours
  • 1 tbsp olive oil OR two squirts of oil spray
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 600ml/21 fl oz vegetable stock
  • 225g/8oz frozen peas
  • 85g/3oz chopped hazelnuts or slivered almonds - or seeds if preferred
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • To serve: dairy-free plain yoghurt such as Alpro, Provamel or Tesco. For a soya-free alternative, use Co-yo or other vegan coconut yoghurt
  • Suggested additions: 1 tbsp sultanas;1 tsp cinnamon; drizzle of agave syrup; 2 handfuls of baby spinach added 2 minutes before the end and cooked in.

Method: 

1. Heat oil or spray in large, heavy based pan and sauté the onion and red pepper for 5 minutes over moderate heat (add a little water/stock if it starts to stick). Add spices and fry for 1 minute, stirring continually.

2. Add the soaked millet and vegetable stock.

3. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally - don't overdo it so that the millet turns fluffy rather than mushy.

4. Meanwhile, place nuts in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and toast till golden brown for 2 minutes or so – keep turning gently with a wooden spatula so they don’t stick or burn. Add peas during last 5 minutes of cooking time.

5. When all liquid has been absorbed and millet is light and fluffy, it’s cooked!

6. Stir in nuts, lemon juice and mint.

7. Serve on warm plates – place a dollop of yoghurt on top if using.

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Viva! is a UK-registered charity which educates people about the realities of factory farming and how it impacts our health, the planet and animals. Vegan Recipe Club is part of our project to make going – and staying – vegan really easy by providing amazing recipes which make even meat-eaters’ mouths water!

We’re doing it because veganism saves animals, protects our planet and is better for the environment and your health.

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